Staff News

A real-world warning on export compliance

Why the process matters

April 5, 2013 | If you’ve wondered whether export compliance is simply a matter of red tape, our colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Lowell can tell you that it’s very serious business.

As a result of export violations, the Center for Atmospheric Research at UMass Lowell recently entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. government. The institution agreed to a fine of $100,000 that may be waived if no further violations occur during a two-year probationary period. UMass Lowell also agreed to make the details of the violations and the terms of the settlement agreement public information, as an example for others to learn from.

David Sundvall
David Sundvall. (©UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

“This example hits very close to home,” says David Sundvall, the export compliance manager in UCAR’s Office of General Counsel. “Atmospheric science is not immune to export compliance issues.”

In 2007, the UMass Lowell center exported two instruments to the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission in violation of export control laws. These two instruments are designated as EAR99 on the U.S. Commerce Control List. EAR99 items generally require no export license, notes David. However, if the proposed shipment is to an embargoed country, to an end user of concern, or in support of a prohibited end use, then an export license may be required and could be denied. In this case, the foreign recipient is an end user of concern.

As noted in Staff Notes Daily in February, all international shipments of export-controlled items, documents, and technical data on media that originate from UCAR facilities in Boulder and at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport must be routed through Logistics Operations, which will take full responsibility for shipping and export compliance.

Exporting simply and safely

To start the process, complete the online form advising Logistics of an upcoming shipment. Logistics will then undertake an export evaluation and provide you with a time frame in which the upcoming shipment will be scheduled.

Got questions? Along with the background websites below, you can contact David (ext. 8898) or check with one of the 20-plus UCAR export contacts. These staff members can assist you in reviewing proposed exports and help walk you through the compliance process.

“I urge all staff who are involved in international shipments of atmospheric instruments not to take any risks and to always ship through Logistics,” says David.

More background

Export Compliance website (Office of General Counsel)
UCAR enhances export compliance program (Staff News, February 2011)